I'm sure you're thinking "Wow! sure took Gaige long enough to write about Wednesday's Apple announcements". You're right... it did. However, Apple definitely is sending the PowerPC out with a bang. (Thanks for the phrasing, Amanda)
I have no good excuse, but here's the wrap up:
- Gone are the Dual-processor 970-based PowerMacs. You can still buy them on Apple's site (click on the little piece that asks about requiring PCI-X), but they're out of the limelight.
- In their place are "dual" processor (core) machines running what we assume is the 970MP and clocking in between 2.0 and 2.3GHz and a dual-"dual" (referred to as the "quad") machine running at 2.5GHz. All but the last one are available immediately... of course, I wanted the last one, so I'll be waiting until Thanksgiving.
- New machines all have PCIe, which means (among other things) that the latest PC-compatible video cards are coming faster, since that's what they're moving to and for the first time in a while, you can stock up a Mac with 4 video cards running at reasonable speeds.
- The new machines are also sporting the infamous "DDR2" memory, which as far as I can tell is pretty much indistinguishable from "DDR" memory running at 533MHz and used in pairs except for the fact that it runs at a different voltage. However, the speed bump from 400 to 533 will be welcome and will put us on par with the fastest PCs.
- New powerbooks sport new screens, faster DRAM, little else. Unfortunately, I'm going to be keeping my 1.5GHz PowerBook for now, since I can't really justify the move to 1.67GHz, despite the 36% increase in screen size and the additional hour of battery life (and about 40% increase in brightness, apparently). These are also available now.